There is not one path to success at Fennemore. Each individual is valued and appreciated for their unique perspective and contributions.

A Conversation On Life In The Legal Profession With Kendra Glazer

In this week’s leadership profile, we had the pleasure of talking with Kendra Glazer, our firm’s Director of Recruiting!

You were instrumental in putting together one of the largest Summer Programs in our firm’s history, and now, you’re back on campus recruiting. What does the current legal landscape look like for law students? And what should legal professionals know about a career at Fennemore?

The current landscape is, in one word, interesting. So many firms are delaying start dates, recalling attorneys back into offices, and engaging in layoffs, while simultaneously hiring students to fill summer associate positions. It’s difficult for most students to know with certainty what they are committing to for the summer and post-graduation, as a result. I am super proud that we are in a much more stable place than many of our competitors, and can recruit students with a level of confidence and certainty that others cannot.

What I try to convey to all law students that I meet, is that there is not one path to success at Fennemore. Each individual is valued and appreciated for their unique perspective and contributions, and have the latitude to forge the path that works for them.

As a first-generation law student, I found it very difficult to navigate law school in a successful way. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin, I decided to take a year off and worked for NASA at the Space Center in Houston. When I applied to law school, I received multiple scholarship offers, so I thought I knew everything necessary to succeed in law school, and assumed my experience would be very much like my undergraduate one. I could not have been more misguided. 

As law students return to campus this fall, what would you tell your younger self (especially a woman), or a 1L at the Southern Methodist University, Dedman School of Law currently contemplating a career in the legal profession?

The best advice I give to 1L’s, is think about your past (non-legal) work experiences, and what you enjoyed most and least about them, and use that information to determine your trajectory. It’s tempting to be attracted to practice areas for a variety of different reasons, but what will make you happiest as an attorney is doing what fulfills you on a daily basis with the kind of clients and people you want to work with.

If I could advise my former self, I would get more experience in between law school and college, to gain more of a perspective going into law school, and seek out the appropriate mentors to help guide me. You have to make decisions about your career so quickly in law school…the more information you have going into 1L year as a benefit of your prior experiences, the better.

Who is your hero – or the person who has had the greatest impact on your life and career?

My kids. Without question. I am very open about the fact that I was not someone who always knew I wanted to be a mother. In addition, it was something I delayed because I was deeply concerned about how being a mother would impact my career. However, the moment my kids were born, I found it difficult to even remember what occupied my mind on a regular basis prior to that point.

They are the reason for everything that I do, and I strive every day to be the best example I can to them. The most unexpected impact they have had on my career, however, is that I KNOW I am a more efficient worker as a result of being a mother. People don’t often recognize the positive impact of being a parent on your career, but I have found myself to be not only more efficient, but better at prioritizing, juggling multiple tasks, and not getting overwhelmed.

Talk about your biggest failure. What did you learn? And how did you pick up the pieces and move forward?

I’m not sure I can pinpoint one! I have had a few, as most people I know have. The most beautiful thing about age, however, is that you learn that everything is temporary…both good and bad. My most challenging life experiences seem to somehow precede my most amazing ones. So much so, that I now handle difficult experiences through a completely different lens. Sometimes I say that my bad experiences are my payment for the good ones. If nothing else, you can’t appreciate the good without the bad. 

What is the best – and worst – piece of career advice that you’ve ever received?

The best piece of advice I ever received was “don’t sacrifice the good for the perfect”. Early in my career I struggled with the idea that every piece of work I produced had to be perfect. A partner I used to work with recognized this personality trait, and explained to me that sometimes the most important aspect of a project was that it was done and filed. 

The worst is probably the general implication that there is only one way to do something. Because of that perspective, I wasted a lot of time in law school going against what I knew about myself and how I learn. 

What are you currently listening to (podcast or music); reading; and watching/streaming?

Quite literally, I am currently listening to Abraham Alexander, as I fly from Phoenix to New Orleans. He is amazing. I have also been listening to new singles from my partner’s new album that will be coming out in the Fall.

You and your family and friends are hosting a lavish dinner party, Name the three people – from any time in human history – who you would invite.

Oh, that’s a tough question! Albert Einstein, Lenny Kravitz, and Ruth Bader Ginsberg.   

Many thanks to Kendra for your profound insights!

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